Being in college is fun, but it’s not without its hassles- how to get there, for one. If you live in a busy city, you surely don’t want to test fate with all that heavy traffic, and even if you stay in a dorm, you still need a way to get around the campus quickly.
Unfortunately, a car isn’t the best idea. Other than it’s expensive and bad for the environment, you’ll likely spend too much time looking for a parking spot. So, what’s the best option for you? Here’s my suggestion.
How about riding a bike? It’s fun, it’s easy, and it’s sure to get you to places. Convinced yet? If you are looking for the best bike for college, here is a comprehensive review and buying guide to help you find the right pick.
The best bikes for college ranked:
Take a look at these 10 best bikes for college that are guaranteed to get you around the campus in no time while turning heads with a sleek and stylish design that looks expensive but won’t break the bank.
Aside from an in depth review of each bicycle, I’ve added a list of my favorite features, as well as the pros and cons of each bike, so you can make the best decision on which of these bikes is the best one for you.
First on this list is the 6KU single speed urban track fixie bike, which is a beautiful and classic single speed bike that runs fast, is lightweight and nimble, and all without the hefty price tag. It’s perfect for the flat campus streets of your university.
It also offers a relaxed riding position that’s great for long rides due to its riser handlebars, and offer two riding modes- fixed gear and freewheel, to allow for a better range in flexibility and speed, especially for those just getting the handle on riding a single speed bike.
Everything from the frame, wheels, handlebars, and brakes are high quality and unparalleled, making this an overall practical, well performing, and affordable bicycle that’s a perfect choice for college students who need a daily commute on and around campus.
2. Columba 26 inch folding urban bicycle
Your second best option would be the Columba 26 inch folding urban bicycle, an excellent multi-speed bike that works well in even the roughest road conditions, making it perfect for hilly campuses with lots of bumpy roads and dirt paths.
It’s unique on its own in the sense that even though it’s a full sized bike, it’s also foldable, so it can easily be carried and stored, which is exactly what you need if you live in a cramped and stuffy dorm or need to take your bike up several flights of stairs.
This bike also offers 18 speed gears for you to choose from, depending on how much pedalling power and speed you need to overcome the road you’re riding on. Plus, it makes use of large tires and a wide wheelbase that make for a smooth and stable ride.
Taking the third spot is this Critical Cycles single speed fixie coaster bike by Retrospec. It’s simple, easy to the eyes, and perhaps even one of the most attractive bikes on this list. It’s also fast, perfect for those who always seem to wake up five minutes before class starts.
This bike gives you freewheel and fixed gear riding modes with its flip flop hub, depending on whether you want an easy and relaxed riding experience, or a more fun and aggressive one, which is guaranteed by its bullhorn handlebars.
It’s sleek and easy to ride, much like a cruiser bike, features 30mm deep V rims and Kenda commuter tires, and is easy to build, maintain, and customize. If you want an affordable and stylish bicycle to ride around campus, this is one of your most suitable options.
Next up is the Pure Fix original single speed fixie bike, which is a simple, stylish, and elegant bicycle that’s also durable and perfect for riding on almost any type of terrain and road condition. It’s also affordable, which makes it right up the alley of a typical college student.
It features an urban geometry frame that is elongated, a flip flop hub that allows for both fixed gear and freewheel mode, alloy handlebars, a KMC chain, and deep dish wheels. It’s durable, high quality, easily customizable, and simply elegant.
This is a highly rated fixie bike that’s excellent for leisurely rides during the weekend, and for attacking busy city streets during the school week. If you want a bicycle that offers you not just style and comfort, but also a great performance and stopping power, this might be the right pick.
5. Pure Cycles single speed urban road bicycle
Yet another single speed bike is the Pure Cycles single speed urban road bicycle, which is not only great for your daily commutes, but also for recreational rides around the neighborhood. It comes in three different sizes, and is built with a custom geometry engineering.
This road bike is easy and comfortable to ride due to its swept back handlebar, as well as the way the brakes are designed to work- you simply need to pedal backwards and the bike should stop quickly and effectively.
6. Schwinn Wayfarer hybrid retro style cruiser bike
Here is a cruiser bike that appears to be designed with a stereotypical college student in mind. The Schwinn Wayfarer hybrid retro style cruiser bike is not only affordable, it’s also built with great quality materials, and comes with a couple of must have features.
These include fenders that protect you, your bike, and your belongings from getting splashed with mud and rain water, as well as a rear rack that works as a perfect spot to load your bag filled with books and other college paraphernalia.
Plus, this bicycle features seven speed gears for you to choose from as you ride from flat roads to hilly streets, so if you live or study in an area with lots of inclines, this would be a suitable choice for you.
7. Tommaso Monza endurance road bike
One other road bike that looks sleek, rides like a breeze, and feels like a dream come true is the Tommaso Monza endurance road bike, which is a multi speed bike that’s perfect for all sorts of terrains and road conditions.
Its 20 speed gears are particularly noteworthy as these are made of a pure Shimano Tiagra groupset, making for a responsive and seamless shifting. It’s also fast yet comfortable to ride due to its geometry, seatpost, and aerodynamic wheels.
This is a lightweight yet durable road bike that’s excellent for both short commutes and long rides around the city and beyond. It’s made of an aluminum frame that can conveniently be upgraded with various accessories, such as racks and fenders.
8. Schwinn Discover hybrid bike for men and women
Of course, this list will not be complete without the Schwinn Discover hybrid bike for men and women, a truly popular and well loved bicycle that’s sleek, stylish, multifunctional, and high performing, all without the hefty price tag.
You’ll find the Schwinn Discover on many bike reviews of whatever category, and for good reason. It’s beautiful, it’s durable, it’s lightweight, and it’s equipped with pretty much everything you could ever ask for, including 21 speed gears.
It even makes use of a Schwinn suspension fork that dampens vibration, extra wide tires that make for a stable ride, reinforced brakes that provide effective stopping power, and even fenders to protect you from mud and water.
9. Sixthreezero EVRYjourney men’s hybrid cruiser bike
If you’re on the tall side, or you love standing up on the pedals as you cruise around the campus or the neighborhood, you should definitely try out the Sixthreezero EVRYjourney men’s hybrid cruiser bike. It’s roomy, convenient, and pretty.
This bike features a foot forward design and raised handlebars that allow for an upright riding position with plenty of room for you to move around, whether to pedal or to stand up and let gravity do the work- if you’re riding downhill, that is.
Along with its many exciting features include efficient pull back brakes, 26 inch wheels, Shimano shifters and derailleurs, seven speed gears, a comfortable spring saddle, as well as racks and fenders.
10. State Bicycle the keansburg three speed city bike
To end this list with a bang, take a look at the Keansburg three speed city bike by State Bicycle Co. it’s beautiful and eye catching, and it’s packed with lots of features that include a rear rack, a front cargo platform for installing a basket, and fenders on top of the wheels.
And to keep its clean and attractive look, this bike is designed with an internal hub by Shimano and featuring coaster brakes that are fast and effective, especially when riding at relatively low speeds, making it perfect for busy city streets lined with cars and pedestrians.
Moreover, it’s not only stylish, but durable and easy to ride as well, especially due to its step over steel frame, Kenda tires, mustache handlebars, and the very way it’s engineered to ensure a smooth, stable, and fun ride.
Best bike for college buying guide
Riding a bicycle as a college student is not only fun, it’s quick, flexible, and convenient as well. Plus, it saves you on lots of expenses such as gas or commuting fares, and it’s good for the environment.
Now that we’ve established how beneficial it is to ride a bike when going to, from, and around your college campus, it’s time to make a choice on which bicycle is the perfect one for you, so you can make the best value out of your money.
After all, even though these bicycles are relatively cheap, they are still a serious investment that deserves plenty of careful thought and consideration. To help you make the right decision, I’ve listed down the most important things that you need to consider.
One of the first things that you probably need to check out is how much the bike costs. College can be expensive, and you definitely won’t want to burden yourself with the hefty price tag that many high end bikes come with.
The good thing is, there are plenty of options that should be well under a thousand dollars, or even under five hundred. These are still high quality bikes that should perform well enough and last you for a long time, and they are not as prone to getting stolen.
Besides, you also need to save up some extra funds for maintenance and upkeep, as well as purchasing the necessary accessories to make your riding experience, if these don’t readily come with the bike you’re looking to purchase.
There are lots of different types of bikes that are suitable for college commutes, such as fixie bikes, cruisers, and road bikes. Some of these are single speed, while some are multi speed bikes. Some are great for flat roads, and some are built for tough terrains.
Choosing the right type of bike should mainly depend on the geography of your campus and where you live, since this is where you’ll often be riding your bike. Of course, if you want a bike that doubles as a recreational or sports bike, you need to factor that in as well.
Something that you need to take into account is how easy the bike will ride, how fast it can go depending on your skill and fitness, and if it’s a multi speed bike, how smooth the shifting is. Also, note that mountain bikes and BMX bikes are not as suitable for long commutes.
Frame type and size
The next thing that you need to decide on is the type of the bike frame, such as whether it’s a step through or step over frame, and whether it allows for a relaxed riding position or requires you to be in your game at all times.
This largely depends on your preference, including how you mount and ride your bike, how fast you want to be able to go, and of course, how you want the bike to look like. For example, step through frames have a more feminine look and can be ridden when wearing a skirt or dress.
It’s also a must to make sure that the size of the bike frame is the right one for your height and build. You don’t want a bike that’s too small or too big, since this won’t only be uncomfortable and painful, but will be a safety hazard as well.
Weight and portability
How much the bike weighs and how easily you can move it around when you’re not riding it is also important, especially if you’re going to be carrying it into your home or your dorm room, and if you’re going to be riding over hilly areas.
You don’t want a bike that’s too heavy, but you also don’t want to sacrifice durability, so make sure that even though the bike is lightweight, it’s still strong and durable, and won’t break easily. Most lightweight frames are made of aluminum, but there’s also carbon, which is more expensive.
In terms of portability, aside from the weight of the bike itself, you can also look at whether the bike can be made more compact, such as by having a quick release front wheel, or by featuring a folding frame.
You can always opt for a bicycle that already has everything you could ever need and want, but chances are, these bikes are significantly more expensive, and the parts may not be as high quality as if you purchase each one individually.
So, it’s better to go for a plain and simple bicycle that performs really well, and allows for an easy time to customize and upgrade, such as by changing a few parts and components here and there, including the wheels, handlebar, and seat.
It’s also preferable if the bike’s design allows you to add a few modifications, most importantly that of fenders to protect you and your bike, as well as racks and baskets for extra storage, and headlights, tail lights, and other safety accessories.
Now, if your primary goal is to find a bicycle that you’ll be using for everyday commutes, then the bike’s performance is not as much of an issue, since you won’t be riding it for sport or competition, meaning, it doesn’t have to be that versatile.
Things like aerodynamics and ergonomics aren’t your main priority. You don’t really need a bike that can go as fast as a race bike, but simply, one that is sure to get you to your destination no matter what.
What’s important here is that the bike is reliable and durable, so you need high quality parts, and that it’s also easy and comfortable to ride, so you need an easy pedaling and a comfortable bike seat.
Final Verdict: The best bike for college is…
Commuting around the campus is best done with a reliable bicycle that will get you around quickly and easily without a hassle, and with all the fun and excitement, not to mention a healthy dose of exercise.
The good thing is, there are lots of excellent bikes that you can choose from. But for me, the best bike for college commutes is the 6KU single speed urban track fixie bike, a classic yet elegant, fast, and nimble bike that features a single speed gear for a no frills ride.
It’s easy and comfortable to ride, even for beginner cyclists, it’s made of high quality, durable, and long lasting materials that are guaranteed to perform well and last long, and it also comes at an affordable price range that should be right up your alley.